Southern Miss player can't speak

Updated: November 15, 2010, 5:19 PM ET
By Andrea Adelson | ESPN.com

Larry Fedora said Monday that one of three Southern Miss football players shot in a weekend club fight is unable to speak, but the coach declined further comment on the extent of the players' injuries.

Fedora told reporters at his weekly news conference that linebacker Tim Green is writing notes to express himself. He declined to comment on a report that linebacker Martez Smith is paralyzed. Defensive end Deddrick Jones also was injured in the shooting.

"They felt like they let the team down," Fedora said.

Fedora said all nightclubs are now off limits to his players and that grief counselors were available to his team.

Southern Miss had returned home Saturday after a 31-21 win over Central Florida in Orlando, and a group of eight to 10 players went out to a club later that night.

According to Hattiesburg police, a fight started inside and spilled out into the parking lot, where the three players were shot. None of the players was armed.

No arrests have been made in the case. Fedora said he had no new information on the police investigation or what led to the fight. He added that his players have no curfew the Saturday night after games, and there was no reason to take added steps for security reasons.

"We constantly talk about making good decisions with our football team," he said. "These are 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids. Unless you are that age you probably do not think the same way they do. I know I don't.

"Making decisions is part of the growing process and coming from a young man to a full-grown man. You have to make decisions on your own and understand that there are consequences to every decision you make. We talk about that all the time," he said. "Kids are going to make mistakes and they are going to pay the consequences for those mistakes and they move on and learn from them and grow. That is how they become a full-grown man."

Southern Miss hosts Houston on Saturday, and Fedora said his team would have to try to focus on preparing for the football game.

"We have to be sensitive to what's going on, but we have a job to do," Fedora said. "Our football team has a game this week, and that's not going to change."

Andrea Adelson is a national college football writer for ESPN.com.

ALSO SEE